Tennis star Sloane Stephens lost three members of her family amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In a series of tweets spanning from January 14 to today, the 27-year-old athlete shared that the deadly virus has claimed the lives of her grandmother and aunt. A week later, her grandfather died as well; however, it’s not entirely clear if his death was caused by COVID.
On January 14, Stephens revealed that her grandmother and aunt died within weeks of each other.
“My heartache feels endlessly deep,” she tweeted. “We recently put my grandma and aunt to rest within weeks of each other. Covid took Auntie Anna the day after Christmas and then took my grandmother home last Sunday.”
“They both helped me on my journey to being the woman that I am, she went on, “and provided me with the strength and faith that I hold onto as I face the new year without them. Grandma showed me how powerful we can be in life. How gratitude takes you farther. That kindness wins every time. We celebrate your beautiful soul, your big smile, your sassy ways- your whole heart.”
“My aunt taught me to never take no for an answer and fight for everything I dream of,” she reflected while sharing a family photo. “Fall down and get back up. And beyond anything, love yourself.”
“Grandma and Auntie Anna, I know I’ll hear your voices when I sit down to pray. You’re always with me. I love you Rest In Peace.”
Tuesday evening, she shared that her grandfather has also transitioned.
“I’ve watched this video from NY about 100 times today,” she captioned a clip of her video chatting with her grandfather. “My grandpa has gone to be with the Lord and the love of his life. One week apart from my grandma. Losing her was too much for his heart.”
“My grandpa was the kindest soul and I will miss him forever. I can only hope to fill so many lives with the love and happiness he did. He is the definition of love, kindness, generosity and a true example of family,” she went on. “All I ever wanted to do was to make my grandparents proud! I’m most proud they got to witness my tennis dreams come true & become a reality. I’m thankful for the time I had with both of them & grateful that I can see so much of them both in my mother, who continues to be my rock. Stories will be told of their great love. May they rest together in eternal peace.”